5 Ways Guy Friends Can Improve Your Dating Game

While girlfriends can be vital sounding boards as you navigate the treacherous, scum-infested waters of dating, guy friends are equally (if not more) helpful in providing crucial romantic real talk. It's pretty simple: instead of spending six hours debating the mind-meltingly complex behavioral patterns of the adult male with your female BFFs, why not seek out a different perspective and get dating advice from your guy friends?

Unfortunately, having platonic male friends — particularly for women who date men — isn't usually encouraged. For some reason, a lot of people believe those studies that say men and women just can't be friends without a certain level of attraction entering into the mix. Although there can be a kernel of truth to that, it's a bit extreme to think that no scenarios exist in which guys and girls can't hang in a non-sexual manner without someone catching feelings or getting their heart stepped on.

Women who have close guy friends may be misunderstood at times, but their opposite sex relationships don't diminish their love for their female friends or make them a traitor to sisterhood. When it comes to dating in particular, sometimes a male voice can really help cut through the noise. These are five ways that having guy friends can positively influence your dating game:

1. They Can Help Decode Guy Talk (And Texts)

Unless there's an eggplant emoji clearly spelling it out, sometimes it's impossible to tell if a guy's texts are flirty or friendly. When in doubt, ask your dude friends how they communicate via text. My guess is, they use a lot fewer exclamation marks...

2. They Can De-Mystify The Male Perspective

Too often hetero female daters assume guys have all the power, and that they are the ones making the ultimate decision about "where things are going." Talking to your male friends about their anxieties and fears about dating can help humanize the male perspective, and remind you that no, they do not hold all the cards.

3. They Can Provide Solid Sex Advice

Not that you need sex advice from a man to succeed, thank you very much, but when you're in a tenuous situation, say, with a gentleman who might be acting weird in the bedroom, your guy friend will probably be able to guide you so that you don't completely humiliate the guy when trying to address the issue.

4. They Can Be Good Judges Of Character

Introducing your new prospect to your male friends is a great way to receive some outside perspective. Obviously it's important to keep your female friends on the judge's panel too, but the way your new guy behaves around your male pals says a lot about his character and your compatibility.

5. They Can Give You Hope That "Good Guys" Do Exist

If your only relationships with men are through bad dates, it's not going to give you the best perspective on their gender as a whole. Having a solid dude in your life who cares about you (but doesn't need to hit it to show that he cares) is a great way not to devolve into misandry and to remember that no, not all guys are jerks.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our latest video on what it's like to be a bridesmaid for hire.

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